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Evil Dead Rise

EVIL DEAD RISE is a new installment in the EVIL DEAD saga. We weren’t necessarily expecting there ever to be another one, but here it is. I’ve seen it called EVIL DEAD 5, meaning the 2013 Fede Alvarez EVIL DEAD is a sequel, not a remake, and I can dig that. But the numbering is irrelevant – it’s a new standalone Ultimate Experience in Grueling Terror produced by Sam Raimi, Bruce Campbell and Robert Tapert, written and directed by the Irish filmmaker Lee Cronin. I watched his previous movie THE HOLE IN THE GROUND (2019), a totally different type of horror, and I thought it was decent, but I didn’t write about it. I did write a little bit about his episodes of the Raimi-produced Quibi series 50 States of Fright.

But he’s officially a guy to keep a (flying, swallowed) eye on after this one. It follows the basic template of the original THE EVIL DEAD: people find a Book of the Dead and some recordings of chants, they accidentally unleash demons that possess them one at a time, make them smile and cackle and puke and kill and climb on the ceiling and other weird shit. The novel twists are 1) instead of another group of young people on vacation it’s a single mother, her three kids, her visiting sister, and some neighbors. Different dynamic. And 2) instead of a cabin in the woods it’s an apartment in Los Angeles. (Filmed in New Zealand.) That’s a different dynamic too because instead of being stuck in an alien place yearning to get home, this is their home they need to flee from.

There is one cabin – an aggressively triangular one by a lake, where an opening occurence of evil deadness occurs, before jumping back to one day earlier. It’s not important how these incidents connect, but I like that it leaves us hanging on that for a while.

The story proper begins with Beth (Lily Sullivan, Picnic At Hanging Rock tv series), a touring guitar tech, taking a pregnancy test in a graffiti-strewn rock club restroom. Next thing we know she’s visiting her sister Ellie (Alyssa Sutherland, BLOOD VESSEL, Vikings), who she clearly hasn’t seen or talked to in a while, trying to act like nothing’s up.

Ellie is a tattoo artist, which I like for two reasons: because I appreciate movies where the parents don’t have the obvious parent type jobs, and because as soon as you see her cleaning her ink gun you know that’s gonna be a weapon.

Her kids each have a quirky thing going for them. Bridget (Gabrielle Echols, REMINISCENCE) is into social justice, working on her sign for a climate protest. Danny (Morgan Davies, The Girlfriend Experience) is an aspiring DJ, who’s embarrassed when Bridget comes into his room while he’s on the wheels of steal moving the imaginary crowd. The youngest, Kassie (Nell Fishur, NORTHSPUR), is currently convinced that the building is haunted and has attached a severed doll head to a wooden staff to scare the ghost. Also they tend to wrestle each other and whack each other with the dollhead and stuff. I like these dorks.

In that portion preceding the collision between shit and fan there’s tension between the sisters, because Ellie is condescending to Beth about her profession/lifestyle but also Beth has some guilt because she realizes it’s true that she’s been incommunicado while her sister needed her. She arrived not knowing that Ellie needs to find a place to move to because the building’s going to be demolished in a month. Worse, she didn’t know Ellie’s husband left her months ago. When that comes up, Ellie sends the kids to get pizza so they can talk about it alone.

So the kids are all down in the parking garage when an earthquake happens. They’re fine, but then Danny notices a hole in the ground that leads to a vault from when the building used to be bank. He climbs down and finds a collection of religious artifacts including some dusty old records and a Book of the Dead. This is a different one, with no face on the front, but clamped together with rows of teeth somewhere between a snake’s and a venus flytrap’s.

I like the gimmick that Danny’s a DJ and therefore has a motive to take some weird records and the equipment to play them. They’re recorded at an unusual speed so he spins them manually, so they sound extra warped and creepy. They’re recordings from the ‘20s, at a church where some doofus presented his discoveries about the Book of the Dead, causing the congregation to gasp.

Of course he reads from the book, so playing the record summons the evil dead, who possess Ellie. Since the beginning this series has had outstanding performances by women modulating different levels of bizarre behavior, sinister smiles, strange voices, and herky-jerky movements, aided by excellent makeup effects. But I think it’s possible Sutherland as Ellie is the best one yet. I assumed she was a dancer, based on her movements, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. She does an amazing job alternating between a demon’s parody of a mother trying to act like everything’s fine and violent reactions like massive projectile vomiting. To me one of the great things in horror is when something being funny enhances the horror instead of watering it down. There’s something very funny about Ellie trying to fake a loving, motherly smile while looking absolutely ghastly, but it’s maybe creepier than it is funny.

She scares the family but they treat her as sick at first. Then she dies.

In addition to the family, there are neighbors Gabriel (Jayden Daniels, WHINA) and Mr. Fonda (Mark Mitchinson, MORTAL ENGINES) who try to help out, adding a little scope to the story. Oh, and there are two kids (Billy Reynolds-McCarthy and Tai Wano) who have a really funny line about watching Freddy movies that I now realize is in the grand tradition of Raimi and Craven referencing each other’s movies (I’ve also been told there’s a HILLS HAVE EYES poster in a bedroom). Anyway, Gabriel is nice enough to let Beth put Ellie’s body in his bed, away from the kids. That’s a hell of a neighbor. But then all the sudden she seems to be alive again, and things get way worse.

I’ll avoid any specifics about the particular gross outs that happen in this movie, but they find many imaginative ways to make us wince, in addition to the particularly revolting kitchen utensil one given away in the trailer. I will say this: Cronin really seems to recognize the importance of sound design to the EVIL DEAD movies. The vegetable crunching sounds of possessed bodies bending and twisting are especially effective. Also it was smart to have so many young people in the movie because as soon as you see something nasty happen to one of them you know that some lines will be crossed and no one is safe.

Cronin cleverly turns the apartment and the building into the cabin and the woods. Just as the woods attacked Cheryl in the first film, the elevator attacks Ellie to possess her, tying her up with its cables. So there’s no leaving the building that way. And just as the road disappeared and the bridge broke, the stairs have disappeared (because of the earthquake, or maybe not?). So they’re stuck.

For a while they lock Ellie out of the apartment, so the front door acts as the trap door to the basement, with the possessed woman outside changing voices and trying to sweet talk her way back in, then peeking through the door held only by the chain lock. EVIL DEAD turned sideways.

I appreciate that the more direct references to the other films are mostly small and inobtrusive. The only one that crossed a line for me was when Beth says “Come get some,” but since she then slips backwards and drops her chainsaw I mostly forgave it.

There’s a strong Raimi energy to the camera angles and moves without directly mimicking him; it probly doesn’t hurt that director of photography Dave Garbett got plenty of practice doing 14 episodes of Ash vs Evil Dead, including the Raimi-directed pilot. Production designer Nick Bassett also worked on the show, and editor Bryan Shaw did the show and the 2013 remake, so they all really know this world. And it’s not all re-creation; Cronin has his own inventions. A standout is the way he stages mayhem in the hallway that we see only from the view of the peephole in the door.

I’m under no illusions that I’d ever like EVIL DEAD RISE as much as THE EVIL DEAD or EVIL DEAD 2, but I can give it this compliment: the pre-evil-deadness section had me more genuinely invested in its characters than those other ones did. I wouldn’t trade this family for Ash in part 2, but he’s doing something different – playing archetypes for a laugh more than offering relatable human behavior or emotions. And I think the original THE EVIL DEAD is an all-timer, but I honestly tend to forget the names of the other characters besides Ash and Linda, and would have a hard time describing them to you. That’s okay. It works. But I appreciate that Cronin seems more dedicated to giving his characters personalities, needs, and arcs.

That said, the one thing I struggled with a little is really the emotional center of the movie. The motive for Beth suddenly visiting her sister is panic about her unexpected pregnancy. She only gets as far as telling Ellie she screwed up and needs help, so we don’t know for sure if she’s looking for advice, or maybe she wants an abortion, but needs to borrow money, or needs emotional support. I don’t know. But while going through all this and protecting her youngest niece Kassie, the kid puts it together that she must be pregnant. “Are you going to be a mother?” is how she asks. Beth takes a long look at her and says – realizing her decision in that moment, it seems – “Yes.”

It’s a nice bonding moment, but doesn’t it seem to validate Ellie’s disdain for Beth’s lifestyle, touring with bands, close to becoming the first woman to be lead tech on her crew, something she’s worked hard for and is proud of (and good at, judging from how she uses her skills to power the record player during an outage), and doesn’t seem to think is compatible with having kids at this age? Yeah, sis, you thought you were passionate about all that, but actually I was right that you should be a mother instead. The most important thing for all women to do, according to movies.

Obviously numerous people including artists love being parents, and they should share that through their art if they’re moved to, but do we need to set up these women characters who are interesting because they don’t fit into those slots, and then treat it like a happy ending when they decide to conform after all? Do we really need to push these traditional values even in our transgressive horror gorefests? It’s okay not to want to be a parent!

That’s what was on my mind while watching the scene. But in thinking about it afterwards another interpretation occurred to me. Maybe when she answered Kassie’s “Are you going to be a mother?” Beth wasn’t thinking about the pregnancy as much as that her niece is an orphan now and she’s gonna be the one to step up. She’s obviously a better aunt than the Allison Williams character in M3GAN so I could get behind that. But in thinking about it more I realized Kassie’s dad is still alive, unseen in the movie, so I’m sure he’d get custody.

Anyway that’s what happens when you put somebody besides Ash against the Deadites: you end up being sincere about stuff. Or maybe not? I’ll go ahead and be Deadite’s Advocate against my own complaint here and admit that it’s kinda funny that she would be inspired to become a mother after seeing her sister get possessed by demons, make a terrible breakfast and try to kill her own children. And that her maternal experience with her niece consists of running around together, both covered from head to toe in blood and (SPOILER) throwing their family members into a woodchipper. So I should appreciate that.

I’ve seen a few people say there’s no point in doing EVIL DEAD without Ash. I don’t agree. He is of course a one in a million character and series of Bruce Campbell performances, but he’s not the only thing that makes those movies great or that makes them Evil Dead. That the mythology and spirit of THE EVIL DEAD has value on its own is a given to those of us who enjoy Fede Alvarez’s barn-burning 2013 remake, but I think the proof is also in the original 1982 film. Ash is a pretty different character each time he returns – in EVIL DEAD 2, then in ARMY OF DARKNESS, then in Ash vs. Evil Dead – and most of the qualities people associate with those characters were not very present in the original THE EVIL DEAD. So if you watch that movie as often as I do you know it’s still the real deal with a straight face and without the one-liners or Three Stooges sound effects.

I know it was violently unpopular around here, but I still love the 2013 remake (or whatever we want to call it). I think it was very much in the spirit of the first film in its willingness to go balls-to-the-wall with its demonic savagery and literal rain of blood. It’s true that it’s not as jokey or cartoony as the series became, but I like that. And at the same time I think some people aren’t picking up that there is a certain amount of humor and good-spirited mischief to how hard it goes. It’s not HENRY: PORTRAIT OF THE SERIAL KILLER, it’s undoubtedly a spookablast. Maybe not a funhouse ride spookablast, but a rollercoaster one with some extra loops and a seatbelt that feels loose. But that’s the appeal.

Anyway I’m happy to report that EVIL DEAD RISE captures that spirit of not-fucking-around-ness, but with a little more quirk and a little more laughter of the non-nervous kind, so it seems to be going over better with some of the 2013 dissenters. Maybe more of us can share in the enjoyment of this one. We can be a family again. Let’s all hold hands and give birth together.

P.S. I’ve read that Raimi and company would like to produce a new EVIL DEAD every couple years, and that seems more likely now that this movie that was originally announced as straight-to-streaming was instead released in theaters and made about three times its budget in its first week. If they do make more I lean toward wanting them to only be loosely connected, at least at first. Maybe bring some of the characters together later, but not immediately. But if they decide to do a direct followup to this one here are a couple ideas.

1. EVIL DEAD ROSE. Ellie’s husband shows up to apologize moments after this ended. He would be played by Justin Long, I guess.

2. EVIL DEAD RICH. The building is demolished, as planned, and they build some fancy luxury dwelling there, which subsequently gets evil deaded.

3. EVIL DEAD ROCKS. Beth goes on a tour (little Kassie and Beth Jr. come along wearing ear protection) and the guitars and amps get haunted? This one might need more work.

Of course she could also have a Deadite baby. That might be interesting. EVIL DEAD in a hospital. Throw in some HARD BOILED homages.

If unrelated, I would like to recommend EVIL DEAD RIDE. Some dude reads the Book of the Dead on the subway on the way to work. And you can imagine where it would go from there.

P.P.S. SPOILER comment for those who have seen EVIL DEAD RISE: Man, I love that they did a human rat king!

This entry was posted on Thursday, April 27th, 2023 at 12:51 pm and is filed under Reviews, Horror. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

23 Responses to “Evil Dead Rise”

  1. I have no problem with Evil Dead movies without Ash (much as we all love Bruce) but I do think I need the wacky comedy and gonzo spirit, which is evidently not this movie’s vibe from everything I’m reading. I must just wait for it to be on MAX, America’s favorite new streaming service.

  2. I found it a little amusing that, after how the Demons movies ripped off Evil Dead, this one rips off Demons 2–and does it with a smaller scope! Dozens of humans versus a handful, the entire building and outside it versus one floor and the parking garage.

    Obviously, it’s not a reflection on quality whether a movie features two people or a cast of thousands. Like I said, it just amused me that the glossier, big-budget Hollywood take was smaller and more intimate.

  3. I’m disappointed in myself for being a little disappointed in this. Let’s mention the good stuff first. There will probably be SPOILERS:

    I loved the sound design, as you mentioned. Bruce Campbell stated in an interview that his contribution to producing was spending a lot of time in post-production sound, and I like to picture him saying “make that drippier,” “more spookiness in the rear channels,” “that’s not what a chainsaw sounds like when it enters demonic flesh,” etc. I also really dug the score, particularly when it went full-bowl old-school sweeping.

    The opening “Evil Dead cam” shot turning out to be a drone made me laugh. The title card was cool.

    I thought the Easter eggs were fun and unobtrusive. They repeated a few catchphrases, sure, but we also had Henrietta’s pizza, the Three Stooges poster, and a touch I didn’t even notice until reading about it later– the main characters’ names are homages to previous Evil Dead actors.

    Alyssa Sutherland’s performance really is great, taking great advantage of her height and long limbs. She undergoes as much physical punishment as Bruce ever did, and has my utmost respect.

    So why did I feel a little unfulfilled when walking out of the theater? I think my main issue comes down to how seriously this and the 2013 one take themselves. Yes, absurd things happen here, but all with a straight face and slick effects. I like my Evil Dead a little cartoonier, more whimsical. I like to see the strings holding up the flying eyeballs. Yes, there are some comically bleak and over-the-top bits in here. But, like, you can feel how much further Raimi would’ve taken the cheese grater bit. I think BARBARIAN did a better job of hitting the tone I’m looking for. Of course, this is my problem that I’m bringing to the film, and not an issue arising from within the movie itself. I assume I’ll enjoy it more on a rewatch, like I did for ED2013 (I really did not like that one at all at the time, but I have come around to it recently). And of course, I also thought ASH VS. EVIL DEAD was *too* silly, so now I’m just being a whiny fanboy.

    As far as the thematic stuff about parental anxiety– I kinda like that it implies being a parent is a nightmare, and horrible things will happen to your kids. The biggest surprise of the movie is how willing it was to fuck up the kids.

    Sequel ideas:

    EVIL DEAD ON ARRIVAL: I like your Evil Dead in a hospital idea. It could even be a direct sequel to this one if it takes place when Beth is giving birth.

    EVIL DEAD CALM: Evil Dead on a boat.

    EVIL DEAD HIGH: Evil Dead goes to the prom.

  4. I liked this one a lot, but I had the same two issues with it: Beth saying “Come get some” and having that moment of decision to “be a mother.” Both these moments have an obvious connection: Cronin is going for an ALIENS thing with the climax, with the Deadites combined into a convenient-to-kill-all-at-once Alien Queen-sized monster stalking a dark-haired woman protecting a little blonde girl. The “Come get some” moment is tonally and artistically constructed nearly identical to “Get away from her, you bitch.” I was always happy that Cameron cut that moment from early in ALIENS where we learn Ripley has lost her daughter, as if her protection of Newt comes directly from her feminine need to be a mommy. Isn’t “protect someone you care about from a horrible death” motivation enough? Says a lot for how male horror movie directors write their female leads, although I did really like that creepy “Mmm – two souls!” moment and thought we might actually get a non-consensual C-section there for a sec (as you said, the movie did a great job flicking off the Safety switch).

  5. The people who run studios don’t do anything for any reason besides personal gain, so the idea of someone helping someone else simply because a. it’s the right thing to do or b. you’d have to be some kind of fuckin’ monster if you didn’t does not occur to them. This is why movies will waste time establishing a personal motivation for actions that you or I or any normal human with a functioning conscience would perform without even thinking about it. I’d imagine a common note screenwriters get is “But why is he getting involved? What’s he get out of it?” They think they’re being psychologically astute but they’re really just showing what sociopaths they assume all people are.

  6. I kinda agree with you here, Mr M, but I think it’s less the screenwriters’ inability to think like humans. IMO they know too well how humans act. And with that I mean audiences. If there is one thing that the wave of YouTube “critics” and online discourse showed us, it’s how incredibly dumb audiences can be, if you don’t spell out every little detail to them. So you really can’t blame them for trying to be on the safe side and better make sure nobody says after the first test screening: “But why didn’t the hero just leave and let everybody die?

  7. It’s my fifth favorite Evil Dead movie. That’s not backhanded praise, I liked it a fair bit; I just happen to like the others better, and this one seemed a little bit to be on the conservative end in a way that none of the others have.

    I agree that this is keeps Evil Dead 2013’s return-to-basics approach, but with a (slightly) more lighthearted feel – in particular, all the violence did not look like real violence in the same way that the gore in the 2013 edition did. It’s sillier, faker, deliberately so (my exhibit A here would be the shattered glass scene; you know Fede Alvarez would have made that shit more believable and a hundred times more cringe-inducing.)
    So I don’t resent it not going with the goofier action-comedy slapstick of 2 and 3, this one is also legit. Aaaand… that approach is kind of doomed, since Evil Dead 2 is such an unassailable, iconic film – How could anything possibly measure up? I really think that’s the reason the new ones have stuck to the horror end.
    But I do prefer that tone, and hope that the next one at least goes proper bonkers action horror.

    [SPOILERS] I loved the human rat king (I love that name!) and it added a sorely needed dose of WTF to the third act. But it was definitely a bad tradeoff – half a dozen lithe, agile deadites would have been heaps more effective than that goofy, slow-moving thing. Also, something similar appears floating outside the cabin at the end of Evil Dead 2, doesn’t it? (I remember thinking at the time it must be a piss take on the Poltergeist 2 monster). It also fits with the deadites working towards summoning… something at the end of the 2013 movie.

    Mr. M – I think you’ve mentioned that theory before. It’s both very insightful and utterly depressing.

  8. I loved it. I don’t need EVIL DEAD to have wacky humour or Ash Williams to enjoy it. I just need it to to deliver unpretentious, relentless survival horror madness about an EVIL force of EVILNESS that is EVIL, does EVIL, and is EVILLY gleeful about it. It’s not about a sympathetic figure coming back as a vengeful spirit, it’s not a po-faced slow burn rumination on trauma. It’s asshole demons fucking with people in the worst ways and those people fighting back. And I got that in spades. Any aforementioned attempts at sincerity where well within the boundaries of just average character background stuff, while in most other ways this was kind of a procedural EVIL DEAD story, with an urban twist. And I would push back against the idea the movie is validating the view of Beth’s lifestyle/job. What she does for a living seems pretty in line with the vibe of her family and what they do with their time. Ellie just seemed more miffed that Beth didn’t touch base with her that much, and Beth’s anxiety about the pregnancy isn’t gone into in a lot of detail, nor is her deciding to be a mother said to mean the end of her career. The movie does actually repeatedly bring up how her and Ellie’s mother was a bad parent in some way and Beth is compared to her, so the issue may seem that Beth is less bothered by the thought of having a child, than the fear of doing a really shit job of it like her mother did and this was a bloody baptism of fire to know she won’t.

    I also liked that it subtly incorporates itself and the remake as being part of the other movies’ (admittedly imperfect) continuity with the line “one of three volumes”, which is so fleeting to be there if you’re paying attention and otherwise lets the movie be its own thing.

  9. I do like that, 2 movies into these Nu Evil Deads, we haven’t had a ‘new Ash’ or a character that’s really trying to be Ash. Mia was Mia, Beth is Beth, and they both work for their respective stories rather than trying to throw an Ash character into the mix just because “you can’t have Evil Dead without Ash!”

  10. Stu – Thanks, I think those are all valid interpretations. The coldest thing Ellie did pre-evil-deadness was whatever she told Mr. Fonda about Beth to make him say, “Oh, the groupie,” when introduced to her. That’s why I took her as being judgmental of Beth, but it’s perfectly reasonable to assume that her real issue is what the rock touring has done to their relationship, and that the shit talking is really just resentment over that.

  11. I don’t mind them making Evil Dead films without Ash. They’ve proven they can create new characters that could have taken over the franchise with Pablo and Kelly. I do wish we got a proper conclusion to Ash Vs Evil Dead.

    I didn’t hate Evil Dead Rise but I just felt indifferent to it. I was a bit like that with the 2013 film. I wish they kept the slapstick humour as for me that’s a huge part of what I love about the Evil Dead franchise.

  12. I really enjoyed this one, even more than the 2013 because of the family dynamic. Cronin did a great job of setting up everything too, from the woodchipper and tree van with chainsaw on it in the parking garage, the tattoo gun, scissors under the couch, Staphne (best name ever…maybe could have gone with Stabitha?) the telegraphed broken stick, the cat in the vents, etc. The little kid, like Newt, had some of the best lines, too. Her goofy “your friends are weird” as she stands there with Staphne and mop-wig to the gut punch line, “You are going to be a good mom…you already know how to lie to kids.” Ooof.

    I am weak with Evil Dead lore, though. Is this the first time they mention 3 books? Is the Ash book 1, 2013 book 2 and this one book 3?

    The ritual nature of these movies…the “floor hatch” replaced by the ” apartment door,” the reading of the book to the record, the blood dripping on the book, ever present chain saws and boom sticks, etc. holds up. I like that the book also telegraphed things to come, as well. Just so cool. I want to see this teethy version of the book face off with the Harry Potter Book of Monsters in the threequel.

    EVIL DEAD FRIES- Set in a fast food restaurant with the chief deadite stuck in the freezer taunting the staff the whole movie.

    EVIL DEAD FLIES- Like snakes on a plane…but with vines…and, sure, snakes.

    EVIL DEAD PRIZE- Crossover movie with, I don’t know, some game show movie. Quiz Show maybe.

  13. fil – In ARMY OF DARKNESS when Ash goes to get the Necronomicon he discovers that there are three of them. There they look identical though. I definitely think the implication here is supposed to be what you said – the original, remake and this are three separate books, not differing depictions of the same one.

  14. Franchise Fred

    May 2nd, 2023 at 11:41 pm

    Oh, did the remake have a different looking Necronomicon than the Raimis? I thought maybe there’s still a third book out there.

  15. Yeah, the 2013 one doesn’t have a face on the cover, and has stitches all over it.

    https://evildead.fandom.com/wiki/Naturom_Demonto

  16. Next installment pitch: EVIL YEAST RISE — during pandemic, loaf of rising sour dough bread possessed by deadites, terrorizes a group sheltering in place

  17. Goddamnit, EVIL BREAD RISE was right there!! What a fuck up…

  18. dreadguacamole

    May 5th, 2023 at 4:47 am

    The derelict building setting and family-based horror kept this one feeling fresh, but I am a little worried how slavish this last one was to Evil Dead 1. I don’t really mind it, because it works, and because it really felt like everyone involved wanted to honor Evil Dead. But.. it was maybe a bit too reverent. 2013 kind of had the same problem, but its energy and excessive gore made it stand out more – basically, it was saved by the execution. This one is fun and all, but I didn’t think it was as well made, nothing really blew me away. I hope they allow themselves to take some risks moving forward, otherwise these will never rise above being solid knock-offs.

  19. I would be up for EVIL BREAD RISE, if it’s a Gingerdead Man crossover.

  20. Good flick…not great, about on par with 2013 and maybe a little better. I actually think this movie did the best job at having some interesting character story going on before the shit hit the fan…2013 was okay but kind of threw away the concept. Yeah it’s basically liek the others but in an apartment, but most of the problem is the concept. There must be a way to do things differently but what these movies come down to is read the book and demons come out. they should do an Army style movie but serious.

    I think the mother thing near the end wasn’t a scriptwriter trying to give her motivation to help people…it did two things. Showed she is now valuing the life inside of her and she’s going to keep it where she’d probably have gotten an abortion, but the events of that night have turned her off that. And more importantly, her saying “yes” is saying that yes she is going to be a mother because she is going to see to it that they survive and get out of there. That was a nice moment, it’s when she becomes more proactive.

    I do think they missed a big trick though…the mother should not have been possessed. Could you imagine the drama and horror there is to wrng out of her having to fight off and dismember her own children? That would have been fucked up.

  21. Watched V/H/S/99 a couple days ago, and for those looking for Raimi-esque mayhem (of the more comedic kind) I can’t recommend the last short enough. It’s an absolute blast.

    It’s from Vanessa & Joseph Winter, the couple who made DEADSTREAM, and based on the energy, creativity and… well, general awesomeness of this, I’d be very happy if they got tapped to do the next Evil Dead; the only thing that worries me is that 20 minutes seems to suit them so much better than feature length… but hopefully their next movie will be more even.

    The rest of the anthology is OK; as usual, it’s varied and brisk enough that the bad segments (and there are a couple) aren’t that much of a problem.

  22. This was adequate. Unfortunately, I am not in the market for adequate EVIL DEAD content so the overall effect is uninspiring. Like the remake, I’d probably love it if they called it THE RIPPED APART-MENT or something but instead they fucked up and made it an EVIL DEAD movie. That’s a battle these people are not equipped to fight. There’s been a lot of talk on this thread about what makes EVIL DEAD EVIL DEAD and I can’t believe nobody’s offered the most obvious answer: Sam Raimi. No offense to this Irish guy, who clearly really wanted to be making a SHINING movie, but I don’t feel I’m speaking out of line when I say he’s no Sam Raimi. You remove the Raimi of it all from the equation and sooner or later the recipe gets corrupted. You get bullshit like the subplots in the TV show, the lack of personality in the remake, or whatever the fuck the pregnancy theme was supposed to be doing here. You start doing what normal film professionals would do, not what Sam Raimi would do. That’s fine for literally every other movie ever made. But not for EVIL DEAD. They can keep making these and whatever, it’s fine. But they get less special every time out. Less special and more adequate. That’s the way of all things, it seems, and I don’t have it in me get as fire-and-brimstone about it as I used to.

  23. I did not expect that…but I fucking loved it! Out of the meant-to-be-scary EVIL DEADs, this might be my favourite. (Nothing against the iconic first movie.) They really milked a shit ton of suspense out of the limited location, hit the perfect spot between “horrifyingly grim” and “but you can still laugh at the most over the top stuff” and had protagonists who may not be instant horror icons or have original motivations (Oh great, maternal instincts again…), but are actually likeable. When they were introduced by basically yelling at each other, I was so ready to hate them, but then the two older kids grabbed the youngest one to tickle her and I realized that they aren’t some kind of disfunctional asshole family, but instead “just” normal!

    It’s not perfect. I think they kinda wussed out at the end, when the deadites grabbed the little girl, but hesitated just long enough to do anything with her until she was safe. (I get that they probably didn’t want to traumatize a child actress, but that kid didn’t even get one single scratch!) And as much as I liked the spyhole massacre, they probably should have gone full DEMONI 2 instead of keeping the Deadites in the family except for one scene.

    But yeah, I loved it a lot! If they keep doing more EVIL DEADs without THREE STOOGES jokes, then please more like this and less like the 2013 one!

    BTW, I don’t know who the actress was who played the mother, but I love that even while being unpossessed she had a quite interesting catlike face. That was some A+ casting!

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